Police workforce

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • at the end of March 2019, 93.1% of police officers were from the White ethnic group and 6.9% were from other ethnic groups
  • 4.0% of senior officers were from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined, compared with 2.8% in 2007
  • between 2007 and 2019, the total percentage of police officers from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups went up from 3.9% to 6.9%
  • according to the 2011 Census, 86% of people in England and Wales were White and 14% were from other ethnic groups
Things you need to know

The police workforce includes:

  • police officers of all ranks
  • police community support officers (PCSOs)
  • designated officers
  • staff in other roles (referred to in charts and tables as ‘police staff’)

This data focuses on police officers, but the analysis ‘By ethnicity and role’ looks at the whole police workforce.

Figures are based on 'full-time equivalent' (FTE) staff numbers. For example, someone who works 2.5 days a week has an FTE of 0.5.

At the end of March 2019, there were 123,171 FTE police officers in the 43 police forces in England and Wales (excluding the British Transport Police).

Figures are shown separately for special constables, who are volunteers and not counted as part of the police workforce. The figures count the total number of special constables regardless of whether they work part-time or full-time.

Data comes from from the personnel records for the 43 police forces in England and Wales, and the British Transport Police.

Population estimates come from the 2011 Census (the latest available figures). It is likely that there have been some population changes since 2011 that aren't accounted for in this data. For that reason, please consider these figures as estimates.

Since the British Transport Police covers the whole of England and Wales, a rate per population per region has not been calculated.

The percentages given here only include people whose ethnicity was known. In 2019, ethnicity wasn’t known for:

  • 3% of police officers
  • 3% of the total police workforce
  • 10% of special constables

For reference, the tables include numbers of staff whose ethnicity wasn’t known.

What the data measures

This data shows the ethnic make-up of the police workforce in England and Wales.

The data comes from a snapshot taken on 31 March every year.

The data focuses on police officers. Figures are also shown for the entire police workforce, which includes:

  • police community support officers (PCSOs) – paid staff who work with police officers and have some police powers
  • designated officers working in specific roles like detention officers and investigation officers
  • staff in other (usually civilian) roles with no police powers, referred to in the charts and tables as ‘police staff’

There is a separate analysis for special constables. Special constables have the same powers as police officers, but are unpaid volunteers.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Staff working for the police in England and Wales report their own ethnicity based on the following 5 broad groups:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White (including White ethnic minority groups)
  • Other ethnic group (including Chinese)

2. By ethnicity (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers, and percentage of the overall population (at 2011 Census), by ethnicity
Ethnicity % of police officers % of population Number of full time police officers
Asian 2.9 6.8 3,475
Black 1.2 3.3 1,492
Mixed 2.1 2.2 2,473
White 93.1 86.0 111,695
Other inc Chinese 0.7 1.7 888
Unknown N/A* N/A* 3,148

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the end of March 2019, 93.1% of police officers were from the White ethnic group
  • 2.9% of police officers were Asian, 2.1% had Mixed ethnicity, 1.2% were Black and 0.7% were from the Other ethnic group

3. By ethnicity over time (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers by ethnicity over time
Asian Black Mixed White Other inc Chinese Unknown
Time % of police officers FTE % of police officers FTE % of police officers FTE % of police officers FTE % of police officers FTE % of police officers FTE
2007 1.5 2,111 1.0 1,350 1.0 1,419 96.1 134,372 0.5 632 N/A* 1,999
2008 1.6 2,231 1.0 1,371 1.1 1,525 95.9 134,000 0.5 656 N/A* 1,920
2009 1.7 2,472 1.0 1,427 1.2 1,699 95.6 135,651 0.5 689 N/A* 1,839
2010 1.8 2,607 1.0 1,446 1.3 1,844 95.3 135,293 0.5 745 N/A* 1,799
2011 1.9 2,582 1.0 1,442 1.3 1,838 95.2 130,870 0.5 754 N/A* 1,625
2012 2.0 2,607 1.1 1,420 1.4 1,871 95.0 125,579 0.6 766 N/A* 1,858
2013 2.0 2,563 1.1 1,361 1.5 1,865 94.9 121,086 0.6 749 N/A* 1,961
2014 2.1 2,665 1.1 1,352 1.5 1,922 94.7 119,071 0.6 776 N/A* 2,124
2015 2.2 2,795 1.1 1,373 1.6 2,028 94.4 117,757 0.6 785 N/A* 2,079
2016 2.4 2,881 1.2 1,433 1.7 2,096 94.1 114,437 0.7 808 N/A* 2,411
2017 2.6 3,104 1.2 1,432 1.8 2,185 93.7 112,953 0.7 841 N/A* 2,616
2018 2.7 3,266 1.2 1,424 1.9 2,309 93.4 111,505 0.7 852 N/A* 3,048
2019 2.9 3,475 1.2 1,492 2.1 2,473 93.1 111,695 0.7 888 N/A* 3,148

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2007 and 2019, the percentage of police officers who were from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups went up
  • the biggest increase was in the Asian ethnic group, where the percentage of police officers went up from 1.5% to 2.9%, and the number of full-time equivalent officers rose from 2,111 to 3,475

4. By ethnicity and area (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers, and percentage of the overall population (at 2011 Census), by ethnicity and police force area
Asian Black Mixed White Other inc Chinese Unknown
Geography % officers % population Number of police officers % officers % population Number of police officers % officers % population Number of police officers % officers % population Number of police officers % officers % population Number of police officers % officers % population Number of police officers
All - excluding BTP 2.9 6.8 3,475 1.2 3.3 1,492 2.1 2.2 2,473 93.1 86.0 111,695 0.7 1.7 888 N/A* N/A* 3,148
Avon & Somerset 0.4 2.1 10 0.4 1.9 10 2.2 1.8 52 96.8 93.3 2,351 0.3 1.0 7 N/A* N/A* 246
Bedfordshire 5.4 13.2 63 1.5 4.8 17 3.1 3.0 36 90.0 77.5 1,035 0.0 1.4 0 N/A* N/A* 13
British Transport Police 4.3 N/A* 119 2.6 N/A* 72 2.7 N/A* 74 89.9 N/A* 2,479 0.5 N/A* 14 N/A* N/A* 85
Cambridgeshire 1.3 4.9 19 0.5 1.3 8 2.0 2.0 29 95.8 90.3 1,372 0.3 1.6 4 N/A* N/A* 15
Cheshire 0.5 1.2 9 0.3 0.3 5 0.9 1.0 17 98.3 96.9 1,899 0.1 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 75
Cleveland 1.0 3.1 12 0.4 0.6 5 0.1 1.0 1 98.3 94.5 1,156 0.2 0.8 2 N/A* N/A* 22
Cumbria 0.3 0.6 3 0.2 0.1 2 0.6 0.5 7 98.9 98.5 1,123 0.0 0.3 0 N/A* N/A* 25
Derbyshire 2.0 3.6 36 0.3 1.0 5 0.9 1.4 16 96.6 93.3 1,702 0.2 0.7 3 N/A* N/A* 5
Devon & Cornwall 0.1 0.7 3 0.3 0.2 6 1.0 0.9 25 98.4 97.5 2,338 0.2 0.6 5 N/A* N/A* 623
Dorset 0.3 1.4 3 0.2 0.4 2 1.2 1.3 14 98.3 96.0 1,110 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 94
Durham 0.4 0.8 4 0.1 0.2 1 1.1 0.7 12 98.4 97.8 1,098 0.1 0.5 1 N/A* N/A* 2
Dyfed-Powys 0.2 0.8 2 0.1 0.2 1 0.7 0.6 6 98.9 98.0 905 0.1 0.4 1 N/A* N/A* 230
Essex 0.4 2.3 11 0.2 2.0 5 1.9 1.6 56 97.4 93.2 2,934 0.2 0.9 7 N/A* N/A* 58
Gloucestershire 0.8 1.8 8 0.4 0.9 4 1.2 1.5 12 97.5 95.4 1,012 0.2 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 35
Greater Manchester 4.0 9.2 254 0.8 2.8 48 2.0 2.3 128 92.7 83.8 5,940 0.6 2.0 36 N/A* N/A* 38
Gwent 0.9 1.7 11 0.5 0.6 6 0.6 1.0 8 97.7 96.1 1,240 0.3 0.6 4 N/A* N/A* 40
Hampshire 0.9 3.0 24 0.3 0.9 8 1.3 1.6 33 96.9 93.3 2,518 0.6 1.1 16 N/A* N/A* 98
Hertfordshire 1.5 5.7 31 0.8 2.8 16 2.1 2.5 43 95.5 87.6 1,902 0.1 1.4 1 N/A* N/A* 17
Humberside 0.6 1.3 12 0.4 0.5 8 0.6 0.9 12 98.3 96.5 1,844 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 12
Kent 1.3 3.1 47 0.3 1.3 10 1.6 1.6 56 96.5 93.1 3,377 0.3 0.9 9 N/A* N/A* 54
Lancashire 2.8 7.4 76 0.1 0.4 3 1.9 1.1 52 95.0 90.4 2,620 0.2 0.7 5 N/A* N/A* 139
Leicestershire 4.9 15.3 87 0.6 2.4 11 2.2 2.0 39 92.2 78.4 1,644 0.1 1.9 2 N/A* N/A* 47
Lincolnshire 0.5 0.8 5 0.6 0.4 6 0.9 0.9 10 97.9 97.6 1,064 0.2 0.4 2 N/A* N/A* 9
London, City of 2.4 9.2 18 1.8 2.6 13 2.1 3.9 16 93.4 78.6 688 0.3 5.7 2 N/A* N/A* 3
Merseyside 0.4 1.4 15 0.5 1.1 18 2.1 1.5 71 96.4 94.5 3,231 0.5 1.6 17 N/A* N/A* 44
Metropolitan Police 5.9 17.0 1,752 3.5 13.3 1,037 3.5 5.0 1,034 85.0 59.8 25,384 2.2 5.0 659 N/A* N/A* 570
Norfolk 0.4 1.1 6 0.6 0.5 10 0.9 1.2 15 97.9 96.5 1,550 0.2 0.6 3 N/A* N/A* 26
North Wales 0.2 0.9 3 0.1 0.2 1 0.6 0.7 9 99.1 97.5 1,419 0.1 0.6 1 N/A* N/A* 26
North Yorkshire 0.7 1.2 10 0.1 0.5 1 0.9 0.9 12 98.2 96.6 1,338 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 16
Northamptonshire 1.2 3.3 14 0.9 2.4 11 1.6 2.0 19 96.1 91.5 1,092 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 50
Northumbria 0.5 2.7 15 0.1 0.6 3 1.1 0.9 33 98.2 94.6 2,932 0.1 1.3 4 N/A* N/A* 94
Nottinghamshire 2.4 4.4 46 0.9 2.5 17 1.9 2.8 35 94.6 88.8 1,806 0.3 1.4 5 N/A* N/A* 27
South Wales 0.7 2.8 20 0.2 1.0 5 1.4 1.4 42 97.4 93.4 2,891 0.3 1.5 9 N/A* N/A* 20
South Yorkshire 2.0 4.1 46 0.4 1.9 10 1.3 1.5 30 96.3 90.6 2,267 0.1 1.8 2 N/A* N/A* 14
Staffordshire 1.2 3.2 19 0.4 0.8 7 1.1 1.3 17 97.2 94.1 1,518 0.0 0.7 0 N/A* N/A* 6
Suffolk 0.3 1.5 4 0.3 0.9 4 2.3 1.7 27 96.8 95.2 1,119 0.2 0.6 2 N/A* N/A* 17
Surrey 1.3 4.8 24 0.6 1.1 12 2.1 2.1 38 95.3 90.4 1,730 0.6 1.7 10 N/A* N/A* 67
Sussex 0.4 2.5 11 0.2 0.9 6 1.5 1.9 38 97.4 93.7 2,426 0.3 1.0 9 N/A* N/A* 139
Thames Valley 1.8 8.5 72 0.6 3.0 25 2.3 2.5 95 94.8 84.6 3,903 0.5 1.4 21 N/A* N/A* 33
Warwickshire 3.1 4.2 25 0.1 0.8 1 0.9 1.5 7 95.5 92.7 769 0.5 0.9 4 N/A* N/A* 12
West Mercia 0.9 1.8 18 0.3 0.4 6 1.1 1.1 22 97.6 96.2 1,926 0.1 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 15
West Midlands 6.9 18.0 442 1.4 6.0 93 2.5 3.5 159 89.0 70.1 5,734 0.2 2.3 12 N/A* N/A* 54
West Yorkshire 3.5 12.6 180 0.5 2.1 24 1.6 2.2 83 94.1 81.8 4,826 0.3 1.4 13 N/A* N/A* 11
Wiltshire 0.6 2.6 6 0.4 0.9 4 0.8 1.4 8 98.0 94.5 963 0.2 0.6 2 N/A* N/A* 9

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2019, the Metropolitan Police had the highest percentage of police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined (at 15.0% in total)
  • this partly reflects London’s population as a whole, with 40.2% of people coming from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups in the 2011 Census
  • in the West Midlands, a total of 11.0% of police officers and 29.9% of the general population came from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups
  • in Bedfordshire, 10.0% of police officers and 22.5% of the general population came from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups
  • police forces in North Wales, Cumbria and Dyfed-Powys had the smallest percentage of officers from Asian, Black, Mixed or Other backgrounds (at 0.9%, 1.1% and 1.1%), in line with their general population figures

5. By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers by ethnicity and rank (2007 and 2019)
Asian Black Mixed White Other inc Chinese Unknown
Rank % 2007 Number 2007 % 2019 Number 2019 % 2007 Number 2007 % 2019 Number 2019 % 2007 Number 2007 % 2019 Number 2019 % 2007 Number 2007 % 2019 Number 2019 % 2007 Number 2007 % 2019 Number 2019 % 2007 Number 2007 % 2019 Number 2019
Chief Officer 2.0 4 1.5 3 0.5 1 0.5 1 1.0 2 0.5 1 96.6 196 97.5 192 0.0 0 0.0 0 N/A* 3 N/A* 21
Chief Superintendent 1.3 6 2.6 8 0.6 3 1.0 3 0.6 3 1.3 4 97.2 456 94.8 294 0.2 1 0.3 1 N/A* 0 N/A* 8
Superintendent 1.0 10 1.3 12 0.8 8 1.0 9 0.5 5 1.9 17 97.4 954 95.6 855 0.2 2 0.1 1 N/A* 8 N/A* 23
Chief Inspector 1.0 18 1.6 27 0.5 10 0.7 11 1.2 22 1.4 23 97.2 1,778 96.3 1,618 0.1 2 0.1 2 N/A* 18 N/A* 35
Inspector 1.0 72 2.2 125 0.5 36 0.8 43 0.7 49 1.5 85 97.5 6,790 95.1 5,325 0.2 16 0.4 24 N/A* 69 N/A* 113
Sergeant 1.1 235 2.1 396 0.8 179 0.9 172 0.7 162 1.7 309 97.0 21,026 94.8 17,584 0.3 65 0.5 89 N/A* 283 N/A* 342
Constable 1.6 1,766 3.1 2,929 1.0 1,113 1.4 1,268 1.1 1,176 2.2 2,052 95.7 103,172 92.5 86,413 0.5 546 0.8 776 N/A* 1,618 N/A* 2,691

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary

‘Senior officers’ include Chief Officers, Chief Superintendents, Superintendents and Chief Inspectors.

This data shows that:

  • at the end of March 2019, there was a higher percentage of police constables from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined (7.5%) than senior officers (4.0%)
  • between 2007 and 2019, the percentage of constables from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds went up from 4.3% to 7.5% in total
  • between 2007 and 2013, the percentage of senior officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds went up from 2.8% to 3.9%, and remained stable since

6. By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)

Number and percentage of police officers by ethnicity and gender (2007 and 2019)
Female Male
Ethnicity Number 2007 % 2007 Number 2019 % 2019 Number 2007 % 2007 Number 2019 % 2019
Asian 402 1.2 721 2.0 1,709 1.6 2,755 3.3
Black 359 1.1 424 1.2 991 0.9 1,068 1.3
Mixed 393 1.2 729 2.0 1,026 1.0 1,744 2.1
White 31,463 96.1 34,470 94.3 102,909 96.1 77,225 92.5
Other inc Chinese 130 0.4 222 0.6 502 0.5 666 0.8
Unknown 371 N/A* 861 N/A* 1,628 N/A* 2,287 N/A*

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the end of March 2019, there was a higher percentage of male police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined (7.5%) than female officers (5.7%)
  • between 2007 and 2019, the percentage of male police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds went up from 3.9% to 7.5%
  • in the same period, the percentage of female officers from the same backgrounds went up from 3.9% to 5.7%

7. By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)

Percentage and number of people in the police workforce, by ethnicity and role
Police Officer Police Staff Community Support Officer Designated Officer
Ethnicity % Number (FTE) of staff % Number (FTE) of staff % Number (FTE) of staff % Number (FTE) of staff
Asian 2.9 3,475 3.3 2,047 4.5 417 3.2 149
Black 1.2 1,492 2.0 1,238 2.9 267 3.0 139
Mixed 2.1 2,473 1.1 677 1.5 141 1.6 73
White 93.1 111,695 92.9 57,000 90.0 8,361 91.4 4,233
Other inc Chinese 0.7 888 0.6 377 1.1 101 0.8 37
Unknown N/A* 3,148 N/A* 3,074 N/A* 260 N/A* 262

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • the percentage of people from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined working as police officers (6.9%) was lower than all other types of role
  • 10.0% of police community support officers were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds, the highest percentage out of all paid roles

8. By ethnicity (special constables only)

Percentage and number of special constables, and percentage of the overall population (at Census 2011), by ethnicity
Ethnicity % % of population (2011) Number (Headcount) of Special Constables
Asian 5.9 6.8 567
Black 1.8 3.3 173
Mixed 2.1 2.2 197
White 88.9 86.0 8,523
Other inc Chinese 1.3 1.7 128
Unknown N/A* N/A* 1,052

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity (special constables only)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity (special constables only)’ (CSV)

Summary

Special constables are unpaid volunteers and with no fixed hours. The figures count the total number of special constables regardless of whether they worked part-time or full-time.

This data shows that:

  • 11.1% of special constables came from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined
  • there was more ethnic diversity among special constables than among police officers and other roles

9. Methodology

Data comes from each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, and the British Transport Police.

Police staff report their own ethnicity from a list of 5 options.

Police forces keep records of all their staff on human resources and payroll systems. The Home Office checks the quality of the data. Police forces confirm the data again before it is published.

Rounding

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Quality and methodology information

10. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Home Office

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Ethnicity and gender data is used by police forces as part of diversity monitoring schemes.

11. Download the data

Police Workforce - Spreadsheet (csv) 51 MB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, Aggregate Officer/rank, Detailed Officer/Rank, police force area, FTE, headcount, value, rate, proportion of population